FAA Orders Emergency Inspections Of 352 Engines Following Deadly Southwest Incident

FAA Orders Emergency Inspections Of 352 Engines Following Deadly Southwest Incident

FAA Orders Emergency Inspections Of 352 Engines Following Deadly Southwest Incident

USA airspace regulatory agency, has directed airlines with the same engines as the Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 to carry out a thorough inspection of the engines' fan blades.

Philadelphia's medical examiner said on Wednesday that Ms Riordan had died of blunt impact trauma to her head, neck and torso.

Investigators say there was a fault with the engine's fan blades. It said that any fan blades that failed the inspection would have to be replaced.

The incident raised a number of questions because jet engines are certified to be able to withstand a broken fan blade without causing major damage.

Each inspection of the engines, which power Boeing 737 aircraft, takes about four hours, according to CFM International, a joint venture between America's GE Aviation and France's Safran Aircraft Engines.

Southwest, American Airlines, Delta and Alaska Airlines all began inspections of 737 engine fan blades previous year after the 2016 Southwest incident, even though a proposed FAA requirement had not been finalised, the carriers said.

The directives by the US Federal Aviation Administration and the European Aviation Safety Agency for inspections of CFM56-7B engines, made by CFM International, indicated rising concerns since a similar failure in 2016 of the same type of engine.

CFM and the FAA both called for inspections of the engines at the time, but the regulators did not publish a directive.

Southwest already announced it was starting an "accelerated inspection" of its fleet after the deadly failure, and other airlines have announced their own inspection plans. The directive stipulates that these inspections must be completed within the next 20 days.

Southwest wrote in a statement that although it opposed the airworthiness directive proposed by CFM, it had nonetheless completed the inspections recommended by the manufacturer a year ago.

The FAA directive comes as a result of a service bulletin issued earlier Friday by the engine's manufacturer as well as information gathered from the investigation of Southwest Flight 1380. If true, this would indicate that the problem is much more widespread than the manufacturer had previously stated. The US Federal Aviation Administration and European Aviation Safety Administration are making those recommendations into requirements.

Southwest Airlines, which took in $21.2 billion in revenue a year ago, operates on a low-priced model that offers cheap tickets for passengers willing to forego standard amenities offered by other airlines. Regulators in other countries generally follow the FAA's lead. The European agency had given airlines nine months to check engines, while U.S. regulators still were considering what to do.

The new inspection is to be done while the engine is on the aircraft's wing.

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